Cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance has announced its decision to divest its Russian business to the newly-launched exchange CommEX, marking another instance of international companies exiting Moscow following Russia’s actions in Ukraine. While the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Binance clarified that it will not receive ongoing revenue shares from the sale and will not retain an option to repurchase shares in the business.
Binance’s Chief Compliance Officer, Noah Perlman, explained that the move aligns with the exchange’s compliance strategy for the future. Notably, the statement did not directly reference the conflict in Ukraine, which Russia has termed a “special military operation.”
Binance assured its Russian users that all their assets remain secure, and a well-organized user migration process will be carried out. The divestment process is expected to span up to one year.
CommEX, a centralized cryptocurrency exchange, is supported by crypto venture capitalists, as indicated on its website. The company introduced its exchange on Tuesday but has not provided any official comment regarding the acquisition of Binance’s Russian business.
Numerous Western companies, including Renault, Shell, McDonald’s, and others, have opted to sell their Russian assets or transfer management to local entities to adhere to sanctions related to the Ukraine conflict and address potential risks associated with Kremlin threats to seize foreign-owned assets.
In a related development last month, Mastercard announced the discontinuation of its four crypto card programs in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Bahrain, in partnership with Binance, effective September 22. These Binance cards enabled users to make payments in traditional currencies, funded by their cryptocurrency holdings on the exchange.
Binance has also faced legal and regulatory challenges, with U.S. regulators suing the crypto exchange and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, in June, alleging deceptive operations. Binance has stated its intent to vigorously defend itself against these allegations.